Accelerating digital transformation to navigate crisis: Lessons from Tableau Conference(ish) 2020

Today we kicked off our first virtual Tableau Conference(ish), where more than 150,000 data rockstars tuned in from around the globe. Tableau Conference is our favorite time of year and although we can’t be together in person, we’re excited for three days of virtual content and networking opportunities—all 100% free and open to everyone. 

CEO Adam Selipsky delivered the opening keynote, highlighting how the power of data is helping us better understand all of this year's biggest stories, including the spread of COVID-19, the fight for racial justice, and the economic crisis.

This pandemic has shown us that you need trustworthy data—and the people who know it best—to point you to the right decisions. Adam welcomed leaders from several industries to talk about their data and analytics journeys in the COVID era. We learned a lot, but a few things stood out:

  • Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer at the City of New York, shared that in a crisis, it is critical to leverage your existing data assets and form new partnerships.
  • Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink, spoke about how data, combined with strong leadership and the right context, can help lift the veil of ignorance around systematic oppression in the United States.
  • Joe Atkinson, Chief Products and Technology Officer at PwC, explained why prioritizing data analytics and scaling their initiative across the organization has been key to navigating the current crisis and building resilience for the future.  

For more inspiring stories, I encourage you to explore all of the interactive content at TC, centering on Tableau products, partners, and the incomparable community. Can’t tune in live? No problem. The joy of a virtual conference is that every session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience (and in your sweatpants—we won’t judge).

The City of New York weathered the “eye of the storm” with a data-first response

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer at City of New York.

As the Chief Analytics Officer for the City of New York, Kelly Jin’s team is responsible for delivering data insights for the city’s executives and policymakers. When coronavirus hit the United States, New York City was in the “eye of the storm.” Kelly’s team quickly turned to data to assess ICU bed capacity, relaying this information to ambulances and emergency vehicles across the city. Kelly emphasized the importance of knowing your data assets before a crisis occurs—during “blue sky” times—so you can quickly understand what is happening in a crisis and craft a data-driven response. 

Data continues to be integral to New York City’s recovery efforts. At the end of July, the city launched a first-of-its-kind NYC Recovery Data Partnership, a group of community, non-profit, and private organizations. The partnership will help leaders understand the economic impact of COVID-19 and inform programmatic and policy decisions.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer at City of New York.

During the keynote, Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink, shared how “in this moment of racial awakening, data is critical to our understanding of how to move forward and how to craft solutions that really work.” 

Together with groups like PolicyLink, the Urban Institute, and other leading organizations, Tableau is committing $12 million to the Racial Justice Data Initiative. Through software grants, services, and direct funding, we’re supporting advocates and community organizations who are driving action at local and national levels. We’re also creating an Equity Data Hub to connect people with data and resources they need to do this important work. Sign up on the Tableau Foundation website to be notified when the hub goes live. 

Addressing racial inequity with data, in partnership with PolicyLink

Data shows that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color. More broadly, data is key to addressing inequality and racism within our criminal justice, healthcare, housing, education, and employment systems. But many of those driving racial equity are frustrated by incomplete and inconsistent data. 

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic and social equity. To address this data gap, they created the National Equity Atlas, a racial and economic scorecard for the nation. This data equips movement leaders and policymakers with actionable information and strategies to advance racial equity and shared prosperity.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink.

During the keynote, Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink, shared how “in this moment of racial awakening, data is critical to our understanding of how to move forward and how to craft solutions that really work.” 

Together with groups like PolicyLink, the Urban Institute, and other leading organizations, Tableau is committing $12 million to the Racial Justice Data Initiative. Through software grants, services, and direct funding, we’re supporting advocates and community organizations who are driving action at local and national levels. We’re also creating an Equity Data Hub to connect people with data and resources they need to do this important work. Sign up on the Tableau Foundation website to be notified when the hub goes live. 

Salesforce + Tableau propel PwC into a data-driven future

For enterprise companies like PwC, digital transformation is essential for business resilience and future success. And data is at the heart of this transformation. 

Joe Atkinson, the Chief Products and Technology Officer at PwC, emphasized that using both Salesforce and Tableau has enabled them to successfully integrate analytics and data into daily processes across the organization.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Joe Atkinson, Chief Products and Technology Officer at PwC.

Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky speaks with Joe Atkinson, Chief Products and Technology Officer at PwC.

“We didn't take it by role or title or tenure,” Joe pointed out. “We wanted everybody to have an opportunity to have these tools...and at the same time bring those tools to our clients who are demanding more value and better insights, and where we could lower cost.” 

PwC has invested $3 billion over the past few years to accelerate this digital transformation and ensure that the company can rapidly adapt to today’s changing realities, leveraging the power of analytics. In fact, embracing a data-first mentality—promoting Data Culture across the enterprise—has been a powerful competitive advantage. Joe observed that “If we hadn't made the investments in our people, if we hadn't made the investments in our tech, I have no doubt we'd be behind.” 

Explore all that #data20 has to offer

In today's rapidly-changing environment, data can help us adapt, innovate, and find opportunities. I invite you to get inspired and learn from the Tableau community in a variety of sessions tailored to your interests. To learn more about upcoming content and to view on-demand recordings, register on the Tableau Conference website.

Subscribe to our blog